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What’s up with the camera on Huawei’s foldable Mate X?

Published Mar 1st, 2019 12:43PM EST
Huawei Mate X vs. P30 Pro
Image: Chris Smith, BGR

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When Huawei unveiled the Mate X foldable phone last week, it didn’t spend too much time on stage talking about the phone’s camera. Instead, it showed the world how the camera app would work on a foldable screen, stressing the fact that the same camera module will act both as the primary and the selfie cameras. The camera specs, however, were not revealed on stage in the official announcement or during my brief meeting where I experienced some of the foldable’s phones features. The execs at the meeting deflected camera questions, but everything I’ve seen so far makes me wonder whether the Mate X and P30 Pro will share the same multi-lens camera setup.

The P20 Pro from last year made it clear to everyone that triple-lens cameras will be a thing, and other companies were quick to follow. Samsung and Sony are the latest companies that launched flagship phones with three cameras on the back, and HMD came out with a penta-lens camera at MWC 2019.

The P30 Pro is likely to offer additional camera improvements, and recent leaks suggested that the camera module might contain a fourth lens or extra sensors. The leaked cases we’ve seen do look strange, featuring an additional cutout on the back on top of to the one that would fit a triple lens camera.

Huawei CEO Richard Yu was photographed in Spain holding what appears to be a P30 Pro prototype in his hand:

Image source: SlashLeaks

When I asked whether the Mate X has the same camera at Mate 20 Pro, Huawei execs told me that they’re not ready to make any announcements. I then asked whether the phone will feature the same setup as the P30 Pro, to which I got a similar response. Nothing is decided yet. They wouldn’t even tell me whether there’s a sensor between the lowest lens in that camera module and the Leica logo. Here’s what it looks like:

Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

Now let’s check out a Mate X press render:

Image source: Huawei

What really piqued my interest was a different Mate X image that Huawei showed on stage during the event. As you can see below, there’s clearly something below that third lens, and you could see it best during the section of the presentation where they talk about the full protection case they’ve made for the Mate X. Check it out:

Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

Now, let’s zoom in:

Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

Here’s the Mate X during the camera segment of the presentation. You can also tell there’s a fourth sensor under the three cameras.

Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

Maybe the Mate X will have a depth sensor just like other phones. Depth sensors seem to be the hottest thing for mobile cameras right now, a feature that lets you take pictures with bokeh effects, but also use 3D facial recognition. Whatever the case is, Huawei isn’t ready to tell the world anything about the Mate X’s camera specs just yet.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.